If H.G. Wells were still alive and in Moab this weekend, chances are that he’d be a happy man.
The late writer once said that he no longer despaired for the future every time he saw an adult on a bicycle – and over the next few days, he’d be surrounded by them, as hundreds flock to Moab for Outerbike’s fall event.
The three-day bike demo and riding event kicks off on Friday, Oct. 6, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 8, at the Moab Brands Trailhead, also known as the Bar M, at 7000 N. U.S. Highway 191.
Western Spirit Cycling Adventures co-owners Ashley Korenblat and Mark Sevenoff launched the event to give average mountain bikers the chance to test-ride the latest models before they invest in any high-end bikes, which can run up to $5,000, and even $10,000.
In the past, consumers typically didn’t see the latest bike models until the day of a trade show. But nowadays, Korenblat said that mountain biking companies and other businesses are increasingly reaching out to customers beforehand.
“Part of it has to do with the changes in sales channels,” she said. “So many products are being sold directly to consumers, including bicycles.”
There’s a second factor behind the genesis of Outerbike – one that has kept Moab in play as a mountain biking mecca, even as other communities across the country have developed and expanded their own mountain biking trails.
“My other motivation in starting it was to keep Moab on the (mountain biking) map,” Korenblat said.
Grand County Trail Mix Trails Coordinator Scott Escott said he thinks that Outerbike is one of the best events in Moab, and he credits Korenblat for thinking ahead.
“Ashley’s always looking forward more than most of us,” Escott said. “She took the (International Mountain Biking Association) demo and said, ‘Oh, we should have this for consumers.’”
For Escott, Outerbike is the perfect venue to raise awareness about Trail Mix and its mission, as well as trail etiquette. This year, Trail Mix will be joining the International Mountain Biking Association and other organizations to continue their educational outreach.
“There is a fair amount of advocacy happening there,” he said.
At the same time, Escott said, it’s so much fun.
“We just go up there and hang out and look at new stuff and have a good time,” he said.
As in previous years, this weekend’s Outerbike attendees can choose from three passes that offer them various options for the weekend.
The first option – the $200 Full Demo – covers three days of bike demos, lunches, shuttle rides and access to all Moab Brands trails, as well as prizes and contests, parties, and beer for two evenings.
For $160, attendees can buy a BYOB – or Bring Your Own Bike – pass, which gives them access to the shuttle rides and the Moab Brands trails, as well as three lunches, prizes, contests, parties and beer for two evenings.
Finally, the $70 Social Card offers access to all three days of Outerbike events – except for the bike demos and shuttled rides.
This year, attendees can meet and mingle with a growing number of vendors who sell mountain biking accessories, as well as companies that are making mountain bike products and accessories specifically for women.
“There are more accessory companies coming, which is fun because then, there’s more to look at than demo bikes,” Korenblat said.
E-bike vendors, including HaiBike and Specialized, will also be returning to Outerbike this year; attendees will be able to test-ride the e-bikes on a special loop at the site.
For those who prefer more traditional rides, Outerbike will be offering guided shuttle rides to some of the Moab area’s premier trails, including the double expert-level Whole Enchilada.
Yeti Beti and VIDA MTB Series will also be hosting all-abilities ladies group rides to Navajo Rocks on Friday, Oct. 6, and Amasa Back on Saturday, Oct. 7. Both shuttles are scheduled to leave the event headquarters at 9:45 a.m.
Last but not least, Outerbike will be holding women’s mountain bike skills and tech clinics on all three days; attendance at each clinic is capped at 20 women, so those who want to participate must register in advance at www.bikereg.com/sram-wmn-outerbike.
Mountain bike manufacturers to demo latest models from Oct. 6-8
When: Friday, Oct. 6, through Sunday, Oct. 8
Where: Moab Brands (Bar M) Trailhead, 7000 N. U.S. Highway 191
Information: www.outerbike.com/fall-moab/; 800-845-2453
Attendance at Outerbike is capped, so anyone who has not yet signed up for the event should register now. For more information, go to: www.outerbike.com/fall-moab/, or call 800-845-2453.